Monday, February 28, 2011
Review for Matched by Ally Condie
The announcer calls another name; another girl stands up.
Soon, more and more people at the Banquet have little silver boxes.
Some people set them on the white tablecloths in front of them, but most hold the boxes carefully, unwilling to let their futures out of their hands so soon after receiving them.
I don't see any other girls wearing the green dress. I don't mind. I like the idea that, for one night, I don't look like everyone else.
I wait, holding my compact in one hand and my mother's hand in the other. Her palm feels sweaty. For the first time, I realize that she and my father are nervous, too.
"Cassia Maria Reyes."
It is my turn. I stand up, letting go of my mother's hand, and turn toward the screen. I feel my heart pounding and I am tempted to twist my hands the way Lea did, but I hold perfectly still with my chin up and my eyes on the screen. I watch and wait, determined that the girl my Match will see on the screen in his City Hall somewhere out there in Society will be poised and calm and lovely, the very best image of Cassia Maria Reyes that I can present.
But nothing happens.
I stand and look at the screen, and, as the seconds go by, it is all I can do to stay still, all I can do to keep smiling. Whispers start around me. Out of the corner of my eye, I see my mother move her hand as if to take mine again, but then she pulls it back. A girl in a green dress stands waiting, her heart pounding. Me. The screen is dark, and it stays dark. That can only mean one thing.